The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is anguished and outraged by the senseless violence in Las Vegas. As we begin the new year, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the entire Las Vegas community today.

Also, see our response to recent natural disasters and how you can help.

Orot – which means “lights” in Hebrew – is an organization that helps special needs kids in Greater Philadelphia get a Jewish day school education. It’s designed to serve Jewish children who have a variety of challenges like severe learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, developmental delays, behavioral disorders and brain injuries — children whose needs aren’t met by typical learning support programs.

In the Orot program, each child receives an individualized academic plan. Math, reading, and Judaic studies are introduced in a developmentally appropriate way. The curriculum is also designed to teach life skills like active listening, organizational skills and time management — skills that can help an Orot student move into a mainstream classroom. Kids are taught in small groups, allowing Orot teachers to give each child the attention he or she needs to learn and thrive.

Currently 45 children participate in Orot, each of them keeping the light of learning alive. We’re proud of each one of them!

For more information on OROT please visit their website, here.

Celebrating Inclusion at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

What does Inclusion mean at the Jewish Federation? It means supporting programs locally and in Israel that help every Jewish community member – without regard to background, beliefs, abilities or orientation – to engage in a welcoming, inclusive community that provides them with the intellectual, emotional and vocational support that enables them to live a full and dignified life. Inclusion also means amplifying diverse Jewish voices and creating an atmosphere where all community members can have a seat at the table for open dialogue, to ensure the safety and strength of Jews everywhere.

Engaging with us through social media is a great way to connect more deeply with our local and global Jewish world, stay in the loop with what we’re up to and to foster a more welcoming, inclusive community. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram – @Jewishphilly and on Twitter – @JFedinPhilly.